Know Your Customers – improving your Corporate Social Responsibility

It’s not only what you achieve, it’s also how you behave. Some small organizations can still behave somewhat undetected way to achieve successful results. For medium and large organizations that is not what governments and customers expect from them. Transparency on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are key in this and therefore a significant number of countries agreed on these in, amongst others, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

This week, the latest results have been presented in The Netherlands on Transparency in the Banking area. And although some institutions score really good, others really need to take it at least one mile further to get a good or even fair score.

We agree with the recommendations of the report that compliance regulations can help/force in being more transparent, e.g., the SEC in the USA is enforcing more detailed information than their Dutch peer, the AFM. And also for Basel II the financial institutions need to know who they are dealing with in the end. The phrase – in the end – makes it even more difficult for the CSR, because not only the ultimate legal entity is now needed, but additional details per region and per sector are required.

In our daily practice in implementing Customer Data Integration (CDI or MDM for Customer Data) projects, we face these challenges at our customers. They are absolutely willing to provide the right figures, however it’s far from a trivial task. There are many underlying systems that were never created to aggregate this kind of information in an easy way sufficient for reporting the CSR. There is a huge demand on bridging the gap between these systems in an non-intrusive way. To combine individual records in and across systems in so-called Golden Records, so on these can be used both for compliance and transparency on your social responsibility.

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